We Must Change the Mentality of “Going Through Hardship and Suffering Is a Bad Thing”
(Minghui.org) I recently read a practitioner's sharing article about how he went from resisting hardships to embracing hardships. I realized that in my own cultivation, I also often had strong resistance to suffering, as the notion of “going through hardship and suffering is a bad thing” had long been ingrained in me.
While I was able to remind myself that going through suffering wasn't a bad thing when I encountered major tribulations, I would often fear seemingly trivial sufferings.
For example, before I left home, I would check the temperature to decide what to wear. I always tried not to dress too heavily or lightly, as I feared both heat and cold. After all, it was my attachment to comfort and fear of suffering at work.
I've noticed that the attachment to comfort also manifested in other areas. For instance, when sickness karma struck, some fellow practitioners dealt it as a bad thing. They looked inward for attachments and sent righteous thoughts, but their intention wasn't pure – instead of really taking the opportunity to improve themselves, they just wanted to end the ordeal sooner.
The sharing article I read helped me see that without removing our mentality of fearing sufferings and seeking comfort, we cannot improve our xinxing and handle things as a practitioner should do.
It is very hard to let go of attachments when our mentality is not completely changed. Attachments come from notions, which have to be changed first in order to remove the corresponding attachments.
Only when we realize that a thing is harmful will we willingly and completely let go of it. Only when we completely change the mentality will we be able to calmly face the tribulation. Otherwise, we may still develop fear when we actually encounter the suffering.
Master taught us,
“You should know, and I have been saying all along, that when you, as Dafa disciples, look at something, you have to make sure to view it in reverse since the Three Realms are inverted, and you have to conduct yourselves in a positive, correct manner. What ordinary people regard as not good is good for cultivators--beings who wish to leave this place. If your thinking is the same as ordinary people's, then you will forever be an ordinary person and never be able to leave here. So, when you meet with ordeals, it is the perfect opportunity for you to improve. If you are able to look inside, that trying situation will become instead an opportunity, something to overcome and a chance to enter a new state. Why haven't you looked at things that way? As soon as you meet with an ordeal, you push it away.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings Vol. VIII)
Master also said:
“As you cultivate yourself, you should regard the things that you perceive to be hardship, emotional blows, or things that affect your xinxing and the like, as good things. If you consider all the hardship, ordeals, and such that you go through to be bad things, then you are an ordinary person. Hardship is the repayment of karmic debts, and things that don't go so smoothly enable your xinxing to elevate. That holds true for ordinary people as well, in fact--it's all about removing karma, and when someone is rid of his karma he will be well-off in his next life. It's just that people don't realize it. A cultivator is to reduce his karma, improve his xinxing via cultivation, and in the end achieve Consummation. For a Dafa disciple, this is the most basic teaching in the Fa and the most fundamental thing. But some people still, after several years, have not changed their notions on a fundamental level. How many years have you been cultivating for? You still fail to look at things that way, and still can't manage to look at things with a positive, correct view.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings Vol. VIII)
No matter what tribulation or problem we encounter in the future, Dafa practitioners must look at the problem with righteous thoughts instead of treating it as something to be afraid of. We should first consider tribulation as a good thing and then proactively and calmly face it.
For an example, when a policeman knocks on the door, we should not be afraid. We should immediately think it is an opportunity for them to come learn the facts about Falun Gong from us. It is also an opportunity for us to save people and improve our xinxing.
Similarly, when sickness karma appears, we should think of it an opportunity for us to improve ourselves in cultivation and align our thoughts with the Fa, without being influenced by the old forces or everyday people's mentality.